A number of moms have requested ideas for hot-summer-afternoon craft projects, so here's another idea I think might go over really well with the little ones, and is interesting enough to capture the attention of a child of any age. And while you're at it Mom, sit down and do some creating yourself. This makes the project even that much more enjoyable for your kids. "Look what Mommy did!"
I recommend making this into a two part project:
Day 1: When the weather cools down, venture outside for an evening walk to collect rocks. Wash the rocks outside if possible and check for bugs and other critters before bringing them into the house.
Day 2: Cover a table with plastic, cover your kids with smocks or garbage bags, give everyone a paint brush, squirt some paint onto plastic plates, or old plastic bowls that you re-use for this purpose, and start painting. You can also glue various scraps of paper or felt to the rocks, or use glitter glue to give them sparkle. If you want to preserve the kid's creations for use out in the garden or even as a fun art piece next to the front door, you may want to spray or paint on a coat of acrylic varnish (either matte or shiny depending on your preference.)
If you find particularly smooth rocks, permanent markers can be used as well to outline shapes, write messages or make artful sketches. A fine-lined permanent marker could help you create some really interesting pieces, and if you have some black rocks, think about using a metallic marker!
Here's a few examples of what Mom did:
I found that sticking to basic shapes and colors is do-able for most of us and looks great!
Rock painting is also a great crafts activity to do at a barbeque or outdoor day camp setting, just make sure you'll have access to water for clean up - the brushes and the kids! Enjoy and let me know how it went!